nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Entrepreneurial team and performance in Lombard SMEs.An empirical study By Marco Talaia; Serena Mascherpa
  2. Export and Innovation in SMEs and Large Firms: The main determinants By Ana Rita Gomes; Horácio Crespo Faustino
  3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A first look at linkage data of Japanese patent and enterprise census By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki
  4. Competition and R&D Cooperation with Universities and Competitors By Thomas Bolli; Martin Woerter
  5. Relationship Quality and Innovation Capacity of Chains: The Case of the Traditional Food Sector in the EU By Gellynck, Xavier; Kühne, Bianka; Weaver, Rob D.
  6. The Role of Services in the New Member States: A Comparative Analysis Based on Input-Output Tables By Doris Hanzl-Weiss; Robert Stehrer
  7. Entrepreneurial Origin, Technological Knowledge and the Growth of Spin-off Companies By B. CLARYSSE; M. WRIGHT; E. VANDEVELDE
  8. Firms' Pattern of Trade and Access to Finance By Jože P. Damijan; Črt Kostevc;
  9. Foreign Investments and Productivity Evidence from European Regions By Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
  10. The Relationship between Innovation and Marketing in SMEs in the EU Food Sector By Banterle, Alessandro; Cavaliere, Alessia; Stranieri, Stefanella; Carraresi, Laura
  11. R&D Projects Fostering Small Firmsâ Market-Sensing and Customer-Linking Capabilities: A Multivariate Statistics Approach By Dentoni, Domenico; English, Francis
  12. Assessing the effect of the CAP on farm innovation adoption. An analysis in two French regions By Bartolini, Fabio; Latruffe, Laure; Viaggi, Davide
  13. The Need for Innovation Support Services unraveled. The ³case of New Technology Based Firms By M. KNOCKAERT; E. VANDENBROUCKE; A. HUYGHE
  14. CREATIVE MILIEUS IN THE STOCKHOLM REGION By Johansson, Börje; Klaesson, Johan

  1. By: Marco Talaia; Serena Mascherpa (Department of Economics, University of Insubria, Italy)
    Abstract: Identifying which factors affect firms’ performance is a critical issue. Within International Entrepreneurship stream of search, most of the extant studies have focused on the individual entrepreneur (Watson et al., 1995), with entrepreneurial team (ET) neglected in the literature (Foo et al., 2006). Our paper addresses the influence of ET over the behavior and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We argued that the entrepreneurial team is decisive in SMEs, inasmuch as the lack of resources push them to rely more on their entrepreneurial team (Escribà-Esteve et al. 2009). Based on a survey of 301 small and medium-sized enterprises of Lombardy, we demonstrated that entrepreneurial team demographics have a crucial role in the determination of performance
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Ana Rita Gomes; Horácio Crespo Faustino
    Abstract: This study analyses the main determinants of exports and research and development (R&D) expenses of small and medium enterprises (SME) and large companies operating in Portugal during the period 2004- 2008. From a sample of 200 SMEs and 30 major exporting companies, the study uses a panel data analysis and fixed-effects and random-effects estimators to estimate the effects on exports and on R & D. Regarding exports, the study found a positive effect in terms of increased productivity and R & D in both SMEs and large companies. The results also suggest that SMEs that are owned by foreign enterprises export more than national SMEs. In relation to the determinants of spending on R & D, the study concludes that the increase in equity and net income has a positive effect on R & D spending in large companies, while in SMEs, increased expenditure on R & D is a consequence of increasing exports, whereas the increase in net income has a negative effect on R& D
    Keywords: Exports, R & D, Enterprise, SME, Panel Data, Portugal
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of the innovative activities of the entire population of Japanese firms by using a linked dataset of Establishment and Enterprise Census and the IIP Patent Database (JPO patent application data). As of 2006, it was found that about 1.4% of about 4.5 million firms filed patents, and substantial patenting activities were found not only in the manufacturing field but also in a wide range of fields such as B2B services and financial sectors. In addition, a firmfs survival and growth are regressed with patenting and open innovation (measured by joint patent application with other firms and universities), and it is shown that innovative activities measured by patenting are positively correlated with such firm performance. It is also found that the relationship between patents and the survival rate is stronger for larger firms, while that between patents and firm growth is stronger for smaller firms.
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Martin Woerter (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between competition and R&D cooperation with universities and competitors. Our simple model predicts that more competitors reduce the incentives for horizontal cooperation as it diminishes the gains from “collusion”. Assuming that the value of synergies and spillovers created by cooperation depends on competition intensity reveals two distinct and opposing incentives for cooperation. While synergies foster R&D cooperation, spillovers may hinder cooperation. We mainly hypothesize that university cooperation corresponds to product innovation and hence quality competition, while horizontal cooperation lead to process innovations and therefore relates to price competition. We test these hypotheses based on Swiss firm-level panel data controlling for simultaneity of cooperation decisions and endogeneity of competition. Our empirical analysis supports the relevance of distinguishing between competition dimensions and cooperation partners, respectively. We find that price competition matters for both university and horizontal cooperation and it takes the form of an inverted U-shape. On the contrary, quality competition only matters for university cooperation and the relationship shows a U-form. Moreover we see that the number of principal competitors is significantly related only to cooperation between competitors and the relationship shows an inverted U-form. Hence, markets with a medium number of competitors are more receptive for horizontal cooperation. In sum these findings advance our understanding of the relationship between innovation and competition policy.
    Keywords: innovation cooperation, university cooperation, horizontal cooperation, number of competitors, price competition, quality competition, synergy, knowledge spillover, collusion
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2011–02
  5. By: Gellynck, Xavier; Kühne, Bianka; Weaver, Rob D.
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to explore how the perceived relationship quality is related to the innovation capacity in chains of the traditional food sector. Based on suggestions from theory and previous studies, empirical evidence is drawn from a survey of 90 traditional food chains including 270 companies from 3 European countries in 6 traditional food product categories. Heterogeneity across these chains is first examined based on cluster analysis that identifies three distinct clusters interpreted as reflecting three levels of intensity in innovation capacity: high, medium, and low. Next, we define measures of the chain relationship quality through characteristics such as trust, conflict and reputation. The quality of the chain relationship is then shown for each innovation capacity cluster and compared among the clusters. Results suggest that measures of the chain relationship quality may be important factors in providing both an institutional foundation and a member motivation for innovation. As chain relationship quality fosters sharing of resources necessary for innovation as well as sharing incentives, these results further strengthen the emerging conclusion from the literature that innovation can be catalyzed by policies encouraging firms to build strong relationships.
    Keywords: Innovation capacity, Chain relationship quality, Traditional food products, SMEs, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Doris Hanzl-Weiss (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: The literature on international migration has repeatedly emphasized that the extent and structure of migration has an important impact on the competitiveness of regions and countries. This report provides an overview of the extent and the potential effects of high-skill migration to the EU27. It shows how many high-skilled migrants live in the EU, where these migrants come from, and how the European Union is positioned in the international competition for talent. Second, we examine how high-skilled migrants fare in European labour markets. Finally we address the issue of the effects of high-skill migration on multifactor productivity, gross value added and GDP per capita growth as well as patenting activities at the sectoral and regional levels. We find that - despite substantial heterogeneity among individual EU countries - high-skilled foreign-born are an important source for high-skilled labour in the EU27. There was some evidence that - on average - EU OECD economies (EU) had a lower share of highly qualified migrants than the (arithmetic) average of the (high migration) non-EU OECD economies. However, our results also suggest that this increasing selectivity of immigration regimes is countered by a relatively low qualification structure of short-term migrants in the EU. A second important policy relevant finding of this study is that high-skilled migrants in the EU face a number of challenges when entering the European labour market, that make them distinct from other migrant groups such as less skilled migrants. In particular the high-skilled migrants - in contrast to less skilled migrants - have lower labour market participation rates, higher unemployment rates and lower employment rates than comparable natives and face substantially higher risks of being employed in jobs that do not fit their skill structure. Our analysis regarding the impact of migration and of high-skilled migration in particular on sectoral productivity and gross value added (levels and growth) yielded a number of interesting results though still being preliminary. Particularly interesting was the difference of the impact of the share of migrants in levels and growth specifications, as well as the importance of a break-down by different groups of migrants (from EU and RoW). There was also a relatively robust result of a positive impact of the share of high-skill migrants and of an interactive effect of high-skill migrant share and ICT technology. As regards the analysis of migrants and regional growth and regional technological development (proxied by patents per capita) we found a positive relationship between the share of high-skilled employed persons and of high-skilled migrants and the growth rate of regional GDP per capita.
    Keywords: new member states, input-output analysis, linkages, key-sector analysis, services, knowledge-intensive business services
    JEL: D57 L80 P52
    Date: 2010–11
    Abstract: We contribute to the literature on corporate spin-offs and university spin-offs by exploring how different characteristics in the technological knowledge base at start-up influence spin-off performance. We investigate how the technological knowledge characteristics endowed at start-up predict growth, taking into account whether the knowledge / technology is transferred from a corporation or university. We use a novel, hand-collected dataset involving 48 corporate and 73 university spin-offs, comprising the population of spin-offs in Flanders during 1991-2002. We find corporate spin-offs grow most if they start with a specific narrow-focused technology sufficiently distinct from the technical knowledge base of the parent company and which is tacit. University spin-offs benefit from a broad technology which is transferred to the spin-off. Novelty of the technical knowledge does not play a role in corporate spin-offs, but has a negative impact in university spin-offs unless universities have an experienced technology transfer office to support the spin-off.
    Keywords: technological knowledge, corporate spin-offs, university spin-off
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Jože P. Damijan; Črt Kostevc;
    Abstract: This paper summarizes recent advances in the empirical research on firms' learning from trade participation and the role of finance in both starting to trade, surviving in export markets as well as expanding along the intensive and extensive trade margins. It highlights the increased importance of imports, which impacts at firms' performance primarily through relaxed technological constraints by increasing firms' scope of inputs and by lowering their input price index. In addition, imports are shown to boost firms' innovation and introduction of new products, which facilitates firms' decisions to start exporting. Another important aspect that has been highlighted is the essential role of finance in furthering firms' survival and expansion in export markets.
    Keywords: exports, learning-by-exports, export expansion, financial constraints, credit crunch
    JEL: D24 F12 F14
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
    Abstract: Differences in productivity across regions have been mainly attributed to agglomeration economies, technology and human capital, while almost no evidence has been provided on the role of internationalization. In this paper we build unique measures of outward and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) counts at the NUTS 2 level and we assess the relationship between regional productivity and foreign investments in Europe. Regions with larger outflows of foreign investments show higher productivity growth, but this correlation fades down with the number of investments and eventually becomes negative in regions with very high outward orientation. Inward investments are also positively associated with regional productivity growth, but only above a certain threshold. Results are robust to the introduction of a number of regional characteristics, to the control for endogeneity of foreign investments, and for spatial dependence.
    Keywords: Regional productivity, foreign investments, Europe, spatial econometric models, instrumental variables.
    JEL: C23 F23 O47 O52 R11
    Date: 2011–01–01
  10. By: Banterle, Alessandro; Cavaliere, Alessia; Stranieri, Stefanella; Carraresi, Laura
    Abstract: In the EU market small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the greater part of the food industry, specially with regard to traditional food products (TFPs). However, the growth of competition, connected mainly to globalisation, is making it very difficult for SMEs to survive. On the other hand, market opportunities for SMEs are connected to the evolution of consumer preferences toward food quality. To profit from such opportunities and to survive on the market, SMEs need to adapt their strategies, focusing on innovation aspects in order to meet consumer requirements and to compete on the market. The literature shows that firmsâ market orientation and marketing capabilities are very important for innovation in food industries to guarantee that innovation reflects market needs. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between the level of firm innovativeness and the different stages of marketing management process, in order to understand if good results in marketing management can affect firm innovation. An interactive questionnaire available on the web has been used for the data collection, with the aim of evaluating SME marketing management capabilities and innovation development. The survey was conducted on 468 EU country SMEs producing TFPs. Linear Regression was run to assess the link between marketing activities and the level of firm innovation. Our empirical analysis reveals that SME marketing management capabilities show significant and positive relationships with a firmâs innovation. This aspect reinforces our assumptions on the strategic role of marketing activities on a firmâs capacity to understand consumer needs, and thus its need to be innovative and market oriented.
    Keywords: traditional food products, innovation, marketing management capabilities, linear regression model, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing, Production Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, L25, L66, M31, Q13,
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Dentoni, Domenico; English, Francis
    Abstract: A large number of empirical studies have recently explored the processes and the conditions under agri-food companies acquire and develop market orientation (e.g. Martin et al. 2009), entrepreneurship (e.g. Holster 2008) and innovation (e.g. Verhees 2005), which have been proven to have a positive relationship with their performance (e.g. Micheels and Gow 2008). A much smaller number of studies focused on how agri-food firms can acquire the capabilities that are necessary to become market-oriented and innovative (e.g. Anderson & Narus 2007), specifically market sensing and customer linking (Day 1994). As a number of public-private partnership projects are attempting to enhance agri-food companies' market orientation and innovation, it is useful to identify which research and dissemination methods effectively develop these capabilities and under which conditions. To attempt to start filling this gap, this study analyses under which conditions public-private projects based on research and dissemination manage to foster market-sensing and customer-linking capabilities of small agri-food firms. Fostering these capabilities in small firms is particularly challenging, as they have limited resources to absorb the new information, learn and apply strategic changes as a result of the learning process. The case of five knowledge-building Seafood Cooperative Research Centre projects based on supply chain mapping and benchmarking methods with the oyster, wild prawn, farmed prawn and finfish industries provides the instrumental cases to the study. We collected data both quantitatively and qualitatively to gain more insight on the cause-effect relationship among variables (Eisenhardt 1989). Then, we analysed data with a structural equation model, whose multivariate statistic approach allows a rigorous analysis of the relationships between latent variables such as market-sensing and customer-linking capabilities and attitudes. Preliminary results can be summarized as follows. First, an estimation of profit margins that different customers make along the chain and an assessment of customers' needs, when customers'concentration and rivalry along the chain is low, are crucial to foster small farms' capabilities. Second, informal networks play a key role for fostering these capabilities from few small firms to the majority of the target.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Marketing,
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Bartolini, Fabio; Latruffe, Laure; Viaggi, Davide
    Abstract: Literature on innovation adoption mechanism has emphasised the positive effect of Single Farm Payments (SFP) and Rural Development Payments on adoption of new technologies. In this context, the expected process of CAP reforming after 2013 is likely to strengthen the role of innovation in the European Union (EU). The objective of this paper is to identify the determinants of the adoption of future innovation, in particular in connection to past innovation, and to assess the role of agricultural policy in the promotion of innovation adoption. The analysis is applied to two regions (Centre and Midi-Pyrénées) in France. Two separate Count models are developed in order to explain famersâ stated intention concerning different intensities of innovation adoption under two different policy scenarios. Preliminary results highlight that the CAP strongly affects the decision to innovate and the innovation intensity, even if there is no statistical significance for the variable connected to the amount of payments or the level of payment per hectare.
    Keywords: innovation, sequences of innovation, CAP, zero inflated Poisson model, Agricultural and Food Policy, Q12, Q18,
    Date: 2011–02–10
    Abstract: New Technology Based Firms (NTBFs) are considered to contribute significantly to the economy. As a result, these firms have received extensive attention from academics over the past decades. Given that NTBFs are faced with many challenges and liabilities, the academic literature has tried to identify how public policy measures could help to overcome challenges related to innovation, amongst others by identifying NTBFs’ needs for innovation support services. Our study contributes to this stream of research by exploring the determinants of the need for innovation support services. We find that technology-related services are highly needed by VC-backed companies, whereas market-related services are searched for by NTBFs in an early development stage pursuing a strategy of playing on the product market. Further, financial-related services were needed by NTBFs with a high level of informal protection, in an early development stage and targeting at playing on a technology market. Finally, soft services were looked for by teams with high levels of technical human capital, in an early development stage, and pursuing a product market strategy.
    Date: 2011–01
  14. By: Johansson, Börje (Jönköping International Business School (JIBS)); Klaesson, Johan (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This chapter intends to demonstrate that the Stockholm region is the key centre for knowledge development, innovations and intellectual creativity in Sweden. The region is an attractor for individuals with ambitions and talents in political, economic and cultural life. At the same time novel ideas and solutions diffuse from the Stockholm region to other regions of the country. A major effort in the study is to describe occupations with regard to (i) the skills of a job and (ii) the tasks associated with a job. Moreover, the knowledge intensity of an ur-ban region can be related to the absorption capacity of firms in the region, implying that firms can make use of all sorts of novelties in the world economy as stimuli for own imi-tations and innovations. Compared to other parts of Sweden, the Stockholm region has both a richer inflow of creative ideas and a larger absorptive capacity. This allows the Stockholm region to function as a source of innovation and business renewal for the rest of the country as novelties diffuse through the regional hierarchy.
    Keywords: Sweden; Stockholm; Creativity; Knowledge; Innovation; Diversity
    JEL: J24 O30 R11 R12
    Date: 2011–02–25

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